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My house’s plumbing was redone a few years ago using Uponor PEX lines and black (ABS?) plastic fittings with stainless clamp rings. I now want to add a tee for a hose bib. My local HD just has Apollo lines and brass fittings.

My question: is it generally safe to mix brands and fitting types in a PEX system, or should I try to find the same Uponor lines and fittings?

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Edit: Looks like HD carries PEX-A and B from Apollo, so make sure what your store carries.

Uponor makes PEX-A and the Apollo found at Home Depot is PEX-B. Some fittings will only work for PEX-A and can't be used with B, but these are somewhat proprietary expansion fittings that rely on the extra flexibility of A. The good news is, you don't have those fittings. The poly fittings with stainless clench rings work with A and B as do the brass fittings that take crimp rings. These systems are safe to interchange.

The main issue with the crimp systems is the expensive tools you need to use them. You might be able to rent a tool, but I've never looked into that.

Another option are the push-on "Sharkbite" type fittings that also work with A and B. Some people shy away from putting them in walls, but they have a good safety record. On installs the crimp fittings are much cheaper, but when making changes or repairs, the extra money for a few push fittings is small in the grand scheme of the job, and they require no tools to install.

  • The crimp locks have a much much much higher failure rate as the push-on. The push-ons are very expensive for a full house though. – DMoore Mar 22 at 19:35
  • @DMoore, thanks for the info - you think that the failures have more to do with operator error/difficulty in getting a good crimp? – JPhi1618 Mar 22 at 19:36
  • I would say it is the nature/build of the crimp, the operator, the operator's tools, and other factors. I have dealt more with these failing than anything I can remember. But you can save 2-3k plumbing a house using them. So they are going to be used. – DMoore Mar 22 at 19:46
  • @DMoore, ever used any of the Uponor expanding fittings? I've seen a video about them, but never seen it used in practice. – JPhi1618 Mar 22 at 19:47
  • Yes have heard of them and seen them used. Pretty sure these are available as most plumbing wholesalers. They seem solid and well made. – DMoore Mar 22 at 19:55
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PEX comes in three types: Pex-A, Pex-B and Pex-C. These are classified based on the way the are manufactured. Pex-A is the only type that Uponor manufactures and is considered to be the best. Apollo manufactures both Pex-A and Pex-B. If your supplier is selling Sharkbite fittings, all sharkbite fittings will work on all three types of Pex. I have only seen Apollo expansion fittings and all Pex expansion fittings will only work with Pex-A due to the I.D.

If you have Uponor, you have Pex-A tubing. So the Apollo fittings (if that is what they have) should work since they are for Pex-A applications. If they are selling Apollo, they will know that the Apollo brass expansion fittings will only work on Pex-A so that's probably what they are selling. I would ask or simply read the description on the tubing.

Pex Fitting Chart

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